Concrete Products

JUN 2019

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Page 31 of 55

30 • June 2019 Favorable residential and commercial market trends that framed National Concrete Masonry Association 100-year anniversary observances last year are helping members and staff charge into the group's second century. "We have seen a lot of opportunities for a number of years and are confident con- struction activity will continue moving for- ward," observes 2019 NCMA Chairman Darryl Winegar, vice president of Midwest Block & Brick, Jefferson City, Mo. "There are lots of projects, but lots of competition, and own- ers have the ability to construct with dura- ble materials—or ones that may not be as resilient." His chairman's term will be defined by response to market development, govern- ment affairs and member engagement mile- stones that made 2018 a year for the NCMA ages. A robust ICON-EXPO 2018: Machinery & Equipment Show in Indianapolis marked the return of a triennial iron-heavy gath- ering, complete with four production ma- chine-anchored exhibits, and set the stage for a resoundingly upbeat 100-year Anni- versary Gala Celebration during Midyear Meeting activities in Chicago. Two months later, an alignment of stars above Washing- ton, D.C. saw the Concrete Masonry Prod- ucts Research, Education and Promotion Act signed into law as part of larger federal program reauthorization. The Act reflects nearly 10 years of concrete masonry inter- ests working the trenches in congressional districts coast to coast and up to Capitol Hill. It authorizes the U.S. Department of Commerce to facilitate a concrete block and brick producer referendum on a national commodity checkoff program. With an eye to a late-2019 or early-2020 vote, work through Commerce Department channels is progressing under an indepen- dent task force chaired by Florida-based Cemex USA veteran Major Ogilvie, who has championed the CMU Checkoff since 2010. "The Checkoff Campaign is being led by one of the most knowledgeable and trustworthy individuals in the industry," affirms Wine- gar. "A successful referendum could provide badly needed funding for producers, con- tractors and allies to support worthy re- search and deliver the message of masonry benefits, value and performance." "I think the biggest role our board can offer in regards to CMU Checkoff is educa- tion," he adds. "We need producers across the country to understand what it is, what it does, and how it is funded in order to get the best outcome on a referendum." In a preliminary CMU Checkoff outline, campaign officials present a sample scenario: Collection of one cent per block during a year with sales of 1 billion gray and archi- tectural concrete masonry units would yield $10 million to fund research, education and promotion endeavors amid an ever-changing landscape of consumer and design profes- sional perceptions, competing materials, and alternatives to masonry building methods. Actual per-block collection levels, Checkoff fund allocation, and all administrative func- tions would be conducted under a Commerce Department-supervised board reflecting a broad geographic and producer cross section. NEW LOOK, NEW GENERATION Prior to the Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education and Promotion Act reach- ing President Trump's desk, NCMA embraced challenges requiring a new approach to market development, technical support and content delivery—with or without the tandem activi- ties guided by an independent CMU Checkoff board. The association set a 2019 conven- tion-timed launch of a brand identity and website—the most sweeping such measures in decades. A new letters-only logo directly iden- tifies the association, while its safety orange color says construction. An "Equipping Better Building" tagline speaks to concrete masonry units' broad, positive impact on buildings, structures, and their users. It also communi- cates NCMA's mission in equipping industry professionals with technical resources, edu- cation and advocacy. "It is always a challenge to keep things fresh and exciting with any industry asso- ciation, let alone one that just observed a centennial celebration," notes Winegar. "Our partners on website development did a good job displaying the information that makes bold and simple statements and allows for much easier navigation than the former site. The branding alone appeals to multi-gener- ational users and hopefully will continue to be used as the asset it is intended to be. We will keep working hard to provide the educa- tion and materials needed to have a safe and strong built world." Branding and website development efforts were overseen by one of the most engaged elements of membership: the NCMA Young Professionals Group, a collection of some of the industry's brightest and most promising up-and-coming business leaders. YPG par- ticipants pursued a brand identity, graphics and online concept allowing the association to communicate better with all audiences, from building and hardscape unit or veneer producers to sales personnel, design profes- sionals and their clients. "The Young Professionals Group contin- ues to grow and bring a tremendous amount of talent from our sideline and put it into play," says Winegar, who credits 2018 NCMA Chairman Kent Waide with helping usher YPG and CMU Checkoff through critical phases. "I hope to see the group continue to bring pos- itive energy and messaging, especially with the ongoing challenge of educating the built world about concrete masonry, segmental retaining wall and paver usage." Equipping Better Building A visit with 2019 National Concrete Masonry Association Chairman Darryl Winegar CHAIRMAN'S REPORT BY DON MARSH Darryl Winegar Continued on page 33

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